Infrared thermography in the evaluation of meibomian gland dysfunction

Tai Yuan Su, Wei Ting Ho, Shu Chiung Chiang, Chien Yi Lu, Huihua Kenny Chiang, Shu Wen Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose To evaluate meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) by infrared thermography. Methods An observational study was conducted at the Department of Ophthalmology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Participants included 89 MGD patients (30 in Grade 1, 49 in Grade 2, and 10 in Grade 3) and 65 controls. The close-eye thermographic images of the eyelid were obtained noninvasively by infrared thermography. Temperatures at 8 regions of interest (ROIs) of the eyelid margin and a reference temperature at the center of the upper eyelid were measured. The temperature ratio was defined as the temperature of ROI divided by the reference temperature. Results Eyelid margin temperature measured by infrared thermography increased from temporal side (ROI 1) to the nasal side (ROI 8) of the eye in both MGD patients and control groups. The temperature ratios were significantly higher in MGD participants than in controls, especially at ROI 8. Conclusion The eyelid margin temperature measured by infrared thermography was higher in MGD participants. Further development of this infrared thermography system may become a rapid and non-invasive tool for MGD screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • dry eye
  • eyelid temperature
  • infrared thermography
  • meibomian gland dysfunction


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